Troopers Hill, the radio star
October started well with the Royal Horticultural Society South West in Bloom awarding Friends of Troopers Hill an assessment of ‘Outstanding’ in their It’s Your Neighbourhood scheme. This award assesses community participation, environmental responsibility and gardening achievement. ‘Gardening’ in Troopers Hill’s case looks at how the site is managed and the work done to conserve this important area of acid grassland and heathland.
Some of the conservation management for Troopers Hill is done by volunteers. There is always work to be done and more volunteers are very much needed. Emma Britton, presenter of BBC Radio Bristol’s Breakfast Show came to give us a helping hand in October. She did a brilliant job of editing the recordings she made on Troopers Hill and on Wednesday 24 October broadcast three segments during her show. She backed these segments by giving the date of next conservation work party, telling people her audience what a great place Troopers Hill is and appealing for more volunteers to come and help. She made it clear that this is an area with very little parking so ideally volunteers would be people who live near the site and can walk there.
As Joni Mitchell sang, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. If you live near Troopers Hill now and the coming winter is the best time to help conserve this beautiful place for wildlife and people. Now we are outside the birdnesting season much more work can be done.
You can still listen to Emma Britton’s broadcast via the “Listen Again” option on the BBC Radio Bristol website bbc.co.uk/radiobristol – the segments are 21 minutes 45 seconds, 1 hour 23m 5s and 2h 23m 15s.
This month Friends of Troopers Hill will be meeting with Bristol City Council Parks team to agree, in outline, an updated conservation management plan. The last five year management plan has come to an end and using Heritage Lottery Fund money it has been possible to employ an ecological consultant to review the old plan and make recommendations for a plan for the next 10 years. Bristol City Council’s winter works on Troopers Hill will be based on the new conservation management plan and Friends of Troopers Hill will use Heritage Lottery Fund money for further work to be carried out by contractors. Once the plans are agreed by Bristol City Council we will be publicising guided walks around the Hill explaining the management plan and what needs to be done to continue to conserve Troopers Hill for people and wildlife.
In principle there is likely to be little change to the earlier plans that cover the last 15 years, but the way the Hill is currently split into 12 compartments for different kinds of management is likely to become 15. Why not come to our next conservation work party for an early preview of the proposals?
There is a conservation work party on the 1st Saturday and 3rd Thursday of every month, starting promptly at 10:00am and finishing at noon. The volunteers meet by the red slide on Troopers Hill Field.